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    Trend-watchers: Are you worried about another year of inventory shortages? It’s time to get back to basics, roll up your sleeves, and focus on lead generation. Here are 13 ways to find new listing:

    1. Look to your buyers for referrals – Home-selling and home-buying can be contagious. Stay in touch with past buyers who were satisfied with your work because they can be a great source of friend and family referrals.

    2. Contact past clients who may be ready to sell – If you have clients dating back about seven to 10 years, they may be ready to move. Drop them a line and see how they’re doing—you may just find out that those newlywed buyers are now the parents of three kids under five and they’re ready for a larger home. Or, that family with high schoolers a few years ago is now a couple of empty nesters looking to downsize.

    3. Get prospects from a former colleague – This is a good one if you work at a brokerage. When an agent has chosen to move on, see what potential sales you can cull from their remaining files.

    4. Search expired and withdrawn listings – Leave no stone unturned on the MLS. Follow listings on a regular basis and watch for the homes that fail to sell. Was the seller asking too much? Did the previous REALTOR® fail to perform? Call the owner and find out if they’re still interested in selling.

    5. Search for empty nesters – Do a search for large properties that have 3-5+ bedrooms and more than 3,000 square feet that were purchased 20-something years ago. Maybe the owners are thinking of moving to a warmer climate and are ready, or will be, to sell in the near future.

    6. Canvas the neighborhood using door hangers – Homeowners are much more likely to see and read a door hanger, making this form of marketing far more cost effective than a direct mail campaign.

    7. Capture seller contacts at open houses – Here’s another great way to find out who’s selling. Sure, some of the folks you’re likely to meet are first time homebuyers—but many may have a property they need to move before they can.

    8. Explore rental listings – Homeowners in the area that are renting out their homes may be doing so due to divorce, or sudden job relocation. Having someone who can help them move the property might just be a relief.

    9. For Sale by OwnerSelling a home on your own is not easy. Stop by and find out why the homeowner has chosen to sell without an agent. Let them know what you can do for them and be willing to give a little on the commission. You just might be surprised.

    10.  Watch for estate and garage sales – When people start selling their stuff, they may be doing so as part of a larger plan to sell their home.

    11.  Networking and relationship marketing – In person, through the mail, and on social media; taking the time to get to know your business colleagues, the more likely you are to get a lead. Don’t forget that giving first is an excellent way to begin a reciprocal and lasting relationship.

    12.  Do charity workPick a local cause and donate some of your time to volunteer. In addition to simply being a positive way to contribute and give back, volunteering is a great way to meet more people in the community and can be a good source for qualified referrals.

    13.  Zillow’s Make Me Move – Zillow’s free and easy application lets homeowners list the price they’d be willing to sell at—and you know they’re going to need your help to do it.

    There are so many other ways to get creative with lead generation. Dedicate an hour or so every week to brainstorming new ideas—you may just end up having your biggest year yet!

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